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Overview of Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Here Lord Vishnu is considered to the Lord of the Senses. Apart from the main temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, there are many other small shrines and yoga centres scattered all over the place. It is not without reason that Rishikesh is considered to be the global hub of Yoga. Rishikesh is also known as Agni Theertha, because this is the place where the Fire God offered prayers. Every evening, Arti is performed during the evenings at the Triveni Ghat. Two ancient places – Nilkanth Mahadev Temple and Sage Vasishta’s cave are two places that are most visited in Rishikesh.
History of Rishikesh
Rishikesh is considered to be one of the most pious places in the country. Legend has it that this was the place that Lord Ram chose for offering his salvation prayers for killing the Lankan King, Ravan. The Laxman Bridge that was a jute rope in the earlier days was the point where Laxman, brother of Lord Ram crossed over the River Ganges. This jute rope bridge then got replaced by a strong suspension bridge made from iron, in the later years. Garhwal was earlier known as Kedarkhand and Rishikesh was an important place of this place.
Rishikesh is also a crucial point where Ganges River leaves the Sivalik mountain range on the mighty Himalayas and spreads its wings into most of the Northern parts of India. In Rishikesh, the area where Ganges River flows through is replete with many temples on the shores. Some of the historical temples in this area are dedicated to the three brothers of Lord Ram like Shatrugan, Bharat and Laxman. Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula are some of the historical areas of Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is located in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. This is the seventh biggest city of the state. Situated at a height of 372m above sea level, Rishikesh is surrounded on a total area of 11.5sq.km. The pilgrimage town of Rishikesh is located at 30.10 degrees towards the North and 78.29 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air –Jolly Grant Hospital at Dehradun, at a distance of 18km, is the nearest to Rishikesh.
Rail – There is a railway station at Rishikesh which is well connected with almost all the major cities of Uttarakhand and other neighbouring states.
Road – Buses operated by Uttarakhand State Government and private companies are run between Rishikesh and other important places like Haridwar, Pauri, Kotdwara and neighbouring cities as well.
Local transport – Though auto rickshaws are available in plenty in Rishikesh, pilgrims find it quite easy to travel on foot to absorb the full beauty of the town.
Tourist Attractions and things to do
Triveni Ghat, Bharat Mandir, Shatrugan Mandir, Laxman Mandir, Gita Bhavan, Swarg Ashram, Nilkanth Mahadev Temple and Parmarth Niketan are some of the must-see places in and around Rishikesh. Apart from these places, there are many yoga centres where tourists can go and meditate for a while. People who come to Rishikesh go for trekking, meditating activities, holy dip in the River Ganges, camping, river rafting, rappelling, rock-climbing and cliff jumping and other such similar adventures that are available in the area.
Places to eat and local cuisine
Rishikesh is a pilgrimage town therefore vegetarian food is the only option that is available here. Some of the good places to eat are Chotiwala, Tulsi Restaurant and Oasis Restaurant. The dishes that should be tried by tourists visiting this place are apple crumble, Kulfi and authentic North Indian meal containing Rotis, vegetable curries, curd and dessert.
Places to stay
Rishikesh is a place that is replete with many ashrams that offers tourists some reasonable accommodation. There are many budget hotels in this area like Seventh Heaven Inn, Ganga Vatika Boutique Guesthouse, Nirvana Palace Hotel, Staywell Cottage and Vasisht Guest House.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Contact Numbers
The STD and PIN codes of Rishikesh are 0135 and 249201 respectively. The police station can be reached at 0135 2430228 whereas the Fire station can be reached at 0135 2430101. Other helpline numbers that apply here are 100, 101 and 102 for Police, Fire and Ambulance services respectively.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
1 - Allahabad Bank
No. 248, Ganga Vihar, Koyal Ghati, Rishikesh, Dehradun district – 249201
Ph: 0135 2439264
2 - Bank of Baroda
Suhavi Building, No.70, Dehradun Road, Rishikesh, Dehradun district – 249201
Ph: 0135 2430653
1 - Nirmal Ashram Hospital
Mayakund, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand – 249409
Ph: 01334 2432215
1 - Bhardwaj Hospital and Maternity Home
P No – 288, Haridwar Road, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand – 249409
Ph: 01334 2432155
Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board
Pandit Dheendhayal Upadhaya Paryatan Bhavan,
Close to ONGC Helipad, Garhi Cantonment,
Dehradun – 248001
Ph: 0135 2559988